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What is the principle of a fair hearing in the law?I'm writing a project on this...

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alwayz | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 27, 2009 at 1:01 AM via web

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What is the principle of a fair hearing in the law?

I'm writing a project on this topic,so I would love to get a general preview of this principle.

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santari | eNotes Employee

Posted February 27, 2009 at 2:25 AM (Answer #1)

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Fair hearing is also sometimes referred to as the "opportunity to be heard"; it is a bedrock of the law and is not limited to criminal law, but also applies in civil and administrative cases.

Fundamentally, it is the opportunity to present your evidence, cross-examine witnesses and discover evidence being presented against you.

In criminal law, it also means first being notified of the charges that are being brought against you. This may seem obvious, but it wasn't always so, and indeed still today it's not always so.  Before the Magna Carta, the King might arbitrarily take and imprison someone without any procedures or notification of the particular reason for loss of liberty.  Today, the issue is talked about in the context of the military prison base at Guantanamo, where many inmates have been held for years without notification of the exact charges against them.

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urzula | Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 1, 2009 at 11:09 AM (Answer #2)

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By a fair hearing, it means that all you must receive all of the protections guaranteed to a person by the U.S. Constitution including the “due process” of the law afforded under the 14th Amendment.  Some of these rights include the right to remain silent, the right to be tried by a jury of your peers, the right to face your accuser and be present at trial and the right to a fair and public trial.

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